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Using Photos & Images for Conversion Rate Optimization [CRO Chat Streamcap]

Using Photos & Images for Conversion Rate OptimizationOur latest #CROchat discussed how pictures, illustrations and visual graphics can affect conversion rates. The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: What Tips & Best Practices for using Photos would you offer to someone who is new to CRO?

  • I’d say try to get your own photos, and not use too many stock photos!
    Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)         
    • True: & pay attention to what the person is looking at. And sometimes person who’s too good-looking is distracting.
      Theresa Baiocco (@theresabaiocco)         
  • “Message” match is very important when selecting a photo, as well as image quality and how unique the picture is. The “Uniqueness” goes along with what Paul said about Stock Photos.
    James Svoboda (@Realicity)         
  • Ahhh! My old friend message match! “Message” is not only content, but visual as well.
    Jessica Collier (@jsscacollier)         
  • Test images with people in them vs no people. Some pages work well with the human element, some not so much.
    Paul Kragthorpe         
  • Obviously, images should be tested to see which resonate best with your audience. Product in use vs. box shot, family vs individual, lifestyle vs business, offer vs concept, etc, etc.
    Jessica Collier         
  • Stock photos are a killer of trust.
    Carlos del Rio (@inflatemouse)         
    • If only we had unlimited budgets for custom photos every time.
      James Svoboda         
      • You have to spend $ to make $. If you don’t value the UX your visitor won’t value you.
        Carlos del Rio         

Q2: How do you use Pictures for CRO specifically on Landing Pages?

  • Show the product/service in action through the image. The image should carry the scent – relevance is key at all points in the user journey.
    Nitish Belut (@nitishbelut)         
  • Use pictures mostly to elicit emotional responses. Text does the relevancy, picture does emotional connect to relevancy. 
    Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)         
  • I think that an appeal to human nature trumps contextual relevancy any day. Find a way to emotionally connect to your audience.
    Timothy Paskowski (@timpaskowski)         
  • Select photos for each LP to work with the product/service, copy and call-to-actions. Images should look like they belong.
    James Svoboda         
  • Add captions, which is not common for ‘Hero shots’ in landing pages. Wondering if anyone has tested this.
    Nitish Belut         
  • Captions are one of the top things people read. I haven’t tested them, but it’s worth using them to your advantage!
    Theresa Baiocco         
  • For high traffic campaigns, I love to MVT images within my A/B test.
    Jessica Collier         

Q3: What are your considerations for using People in Photographs to Increase Conversions?

  • Using and testing photos of people who are relatable to the persona of the audience is important. Also if I can find a person facing, gazing and/or looks to be moving towards the call-to-action, it’s typically a big win.
    James Svoboda         
  • Have the people look at or point to the product or CTA.
    Theresa Baiocco         
  • If you are using people they should be facing your action.
    Carlos del Rio         
  • Demographic -> target audience
    Jessica Collier         
    • Agree. Demographic, no ones wants to feel out of place when they land…be sure to match images with TA.
      Erik Bortzfield (@ErikBortz)         
  • Some big brands have demonstrated that using female imagery can lend to higher conversions in a wide variety of campaigns.
    Timothy Paskowski         
    • True, but testing gender is important for each audience. Especially if they are not facing the CTA.
      James Svoboda         
    • Interesting. Not to use the old cop out, but it’s always worth testing for your (or your client’s) specific pages!
      Theresa Baiocco         
  • Try using original photos, as in, don’t just Google “smiling face” for a happy customer. Emoticons don’t look like your custs.
    Simon Cahill (@Simon_CRO)         
  • However, I have seen (during ethnicity testing) that relatable doesn’t always prove to increase conversions.
    Jessica Collier         
  • The person should also match the look of the target market.
    Theresa Baiocco         
  • How do you feel about gaze? Is direct eye contact “honest” or distracting?
    Jessica Collier         
    • I think of it in terms of losing the directional benefit that a CTA Facing image could have.
      James Svoboda         
  • The images on your landing page should support your value, demonstrate your offer, or illustrate your headline.
    Carlos del Rio         
  • The challenge is: Headline, Subhead,Paragraph,Hero shot. A caption would be a duplicate of subhead or paragraph.
    Nitish Belut         
    • Let go of that rigid structure. Think about how the graphics can replace your words.
      Carlos del Rio         
      • True. The framework I take most seriously is about the four modes into which people come to a site. Slow v/s Fast & Emotional v/s Logical (decisions).The Headline,Subhead,paragraph,hero shot tends to cater for all.
        Nitish Belut         
    • Well, your image should always be above the headline, so, in essencve the text below works as the caption.
      Niall Mackenzie (@niall_mackenzie)         
      • I disagree. Your image should not ALWAYS be above your headline.
        Carlos del Rio         

         

    • I’d test captions that are not duplicates, but rather make them unique and a tie between the photo & message.
      James Svoboda         
    • Yes, and since people are more likely to read the caption than the paragraph, it’s worth crafting that text carefully.
      Theresa Baiocco         
  • Yes agree about eye placement to the CTA, split test variations such as gender, etc.
    Andrew Baker (@AndrewBaker72)         
  • Heatmap of different business people pointing to the CTA: woman in a business suit (skirt) had A LOT of attention on her legs!
    Theresa Baiocco         

Q4: How do you address Digital Image Clutter and avoid Visual Distraction that can harm Conversion Rates?

  • Use your distractions. Distract the person right over to your action.
    Carlos del Rio         
  • I always start with call-to-action and conversion areas and work out from there. If I identify distracting visual elements through heatmaps, gaze plots or a manual review, I look to have them moved or removed as to not lower conversion rates.
    James Svoboda         
    • Eye always goes to an image first, you therefore want the image to lead into your headline.
      Niall Mackenzie         
  • I run heatmaps on pages before starting any split test to make sure the CTA gets the attention it needs.
    Theresa Baiocco         
    • Same here. Often during initial mock-up stages of Landing Pages.
      James Svoboda         

Q5: Along the same lines as Image Clutter, what are your CRO considerations for using Social Icons and “Follow Me” images?

  • Social images can be tricky to account for as they are typically counted as a secondary conversion. If they fit within the marketing goals I’ll work them into the pages, but move them out of the visual conversion path.
    James Svoboda         
    • Always liked incorporating ‘social proof’. It’s a 21st-century testimonial and, when used tastefully, can lend to credibility.
      Timothy Paskowski         
      • I agree, but I make sure to not place Social elements too near the main conversions. FB can kill some conversions.
        James Svoboda         
  • If you want to push social micro-conversions do it on the thank you page and track them as a goal/conversion.
    Carlos del Rio         
    • I agree: don’t let a micro conversion prevent someone from the “real” conversion. Social Media is secondary.
      Theresa Baiocco         
    • Good idea for landing pages, but hard to do throughout a whole site.
      James Svoboda         
  • Bring social media icons back into focus on the Thank You pages.
    Paul Kragthorpe         

Q6: What CRO considerations do you have for Product Photos on Ecommerce websites?

  • Use an embedded video as well – boom!
    Andrew Baker         
    • Absolutly! Video should a main CRO & Content strategy for Ecommerce sites.
      James Svoboda         
  • Photo quality and variety of image shots & angles can really help conversions. People want to see everything they can.
    James Svoboda         
  • Make sure the visitor can zoom in, and get shots from various angles to people can see small differences in features.
    Theresa Baiocco         
  • If your product requires assembly, include an assembly video! 
    Paul Kragthorpe         

Resources

More CRO Chats

Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next #CROchat on Thursday at 12 noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific and 5pm in the UK. Same Chat time, same Chat channel.

PPC Chat

Also, join us for #PPCchat on Tuessdays 12 noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific and 5pm in the UK for a similar sessions revolving about everything PPC. Those streamcaps can be found on Matt Umbro’s PPCChat Blog

CRO Chat Participants

Check out the CRO Chat Twitter list to see and connect with all current and prior participants.

About the Host

SEO since 1999. WebRanking CEO. MnSEARCH.org Co-Founder. MarketingLand Contributor. #CROchat Host. #PPCchat Faithful. Husband & Father in Eden Prairie, MN. If you like this post and want to find others related to it, then you can find me on Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter:

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